Top Hotels in Istanbul: Luxury Retreats

Istanbul, a tale of two star-crossed lovers, where the marriage of west and the east are held apart by the ebb and flow of the Bosporus. Yet the city remains an enigmatic mystery, a world of bright spice, crushing markets, melodious bells announcing the call to prayer and an eclectic vibrancy that stays charged from dusk until dawn. No other neighborhood in Istanbul captures the raw energy, the historic splendor and the woven stories of the Ottoman and Byzantine empires quite like Sultanahmet.

Home to the Blue Mosque, the glittering mosaics and epic woven carpets of the Aya Sofya and the domes and minarets of the Topaki Palace, the old city is a heady delight for the senses. Discerning travelers seeking sultan inspired opulence on their trip to the old city can soak up the finery of these luxury top hotels in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet.

Four Seasons at Sultanahmet

The former Turkish prison is now home to one of the most exclusive and extravagant hotels in the whole of Istanbul – the Four Seasons at Sultanahmet. As soon as you step through the grandiose doors you enter a world of tranquility and beauty with zesty fresh colors, shimmering glass chandeliers, traditional textile touches, and signature brand style.

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Suites are large, lavish and include a traditional handwoven Turkish kiln and mesmerizing marble bathrooms with oversized tubs that invite you to sink down deep. Waking to the singing birds fluttering their wings in the elegant courtyard outside your window is a moment heaven sent and on the sun-soaked terrace you can indulge in rich exotic cocktails and a touch of class.

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Empress Zoe

Beautifully bohemian and adorned in the richest art, boutique bliss doesn’t come any better than the Hotel Empress Zoe. The series of historic houses has been transformed into a living fairy tale bordering the edges of a crumbling Turkish bath from the 15th century. Ivy clad ruins, views of the magical Marmara Sea and every inch of the design cloaked in wood, stone, and colorful Islamic art sparks a flame of romance and an edge of sheer delight.

Top Hotels in Istanbul Hotel Empress Zoe 1

The penthouse suite is an oasis of calm with its lounging day beds, hidden alcoves, Hamman bathroom and Blue Mosque views. Breakfast in the secret garden is a delightful way to start the day with mythical iron wrought covered windows, fragrant flora, and the taste of deep dark coffee.

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Hotel Sultania

With only forty-two rooms and a history soaked in enchanting stories, this small boutique hotel aims to make every guest feel like a sultan. The ottoman design features bring a sense of old world romance from the gilded framed oil paintings in every room to the harem style art and grace that touches every suite. Each suite is named after the most memorable wives of the Sultans and these fascinating women drape the hotel in feminine beauty blended with modern bliss.

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Hammam concept rooms encourage you to unwind in the state of the art marble bathrooms and sleep easy in the plush snow white beds. Yet for romance and splendor the Harem room will inspire with its gauzy four-poster bed and touches of regal charm. The rooftop Olive Bar boasts beautiful views and gourmet grand Turkish cuisine with floor to ceiling windows for a divine night watching the twinkling lights of the city.

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Kybele Hotel

Those who want to continue to be dazzled by the jewels of Istanbul even when they lay their head, the divine décor of the Kybele Hotel is sure to delight. From the outside, this boutique beauty boasts peacock blue and gilded gold colors to catch your eye. As soon as you step inside you can find hundreds of glistening lanterns, dark wooden floors draped in thick colorful rugs and ornate and truly unique pieces of antique furniture scattered throughout.

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The mix of curios shop and Aladdin’s treasure trove fills every corner with charm and the well-stocked library invites you to find a cozy spot and curl up. Those seeking pale colors, bright windows, and spacious bathrooms will struggle at the Kybele but for those seeking something different, where life is crammed into every corner and believe it’s the little things that count, Kybele is a dream.

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Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes

Jodie Oakes is a seasoned writer and an avid surfer with continuously itchy feet and a love of the finer things in life. After traveling through the continent with a touring band, living in Paris, Amsterdam and under the Auroras Borealis, she is now in Bulgaria where she attempts to piece together her first poetry collection.
Jodie Oakes